Once I leave this great Canadian soil, I'll be calling a little village named "Doro" home. Doro is located, of course, in South Sudan, about a 24 hour-ish walk to the Ethiopian border, just about 1/3'd of the way up the country.
Doro used to have a good sized town and SIM ministry there before the most recent war(s). In the '40's there was an SIM hospital serving the region, but it has been destroyed (along with everything else) in the last 25 years. This picture you see here, is of the hospital now.
Doro is one of the most under-served regions in all of South Sudan. The people here lack access to even basic education, health care, and many resources. I have been told that 25% of all children under the age of 5 years old, die. Malnutrition, Malaria, intestinal worms, and so many other diseases are often the culprits. A girl is also, more likely to die during childbirth, then to finish grade 8. This speaks to both the lack of health care and the lack of education.
Women and children are not the only ones effected. Our team Doctor was surprised to find that Leprosy was not uncommon to find among those returning to the Doro region from Refugee camps. Although I'll speak about the project I'll be involved with in a different blog post, I'll just say that the team over there is hoping to start a specific outreach to those affected by leprosy, like this man in the photograph.
Doro is pretty far "off the beaten path", and as far as I know, there are no roads coming to or from it that lead to a major town/city. (this picture is of "Downtown Doro" - click on any photo to see it enlarged). In order for us to get in and out of Doro, we will be flying. This picture is of our landingstrip. I can't even tell you how excited I am to fly over the villages and rivers of Africa in a little plane like this :)
The other thing I can tell you about Doro right now is about the people groups. I do believe there are a few tribes/groups of people in this region, however, the majority are "Mabaan". The Mabaan people speak, yes, you've got it...Mabaan (not Mabaanese) :) I have been taking Mabaan lessons from a friend here in Halifax who is from just outside Doro. He has been a great teacher, friend, and motivator in this time of waiting until the Lord says, "ok, Chris... let's GO."